The mod Lake Avenue menswear clothier is the brainchild of Pasadena resident Jeffery Plansker.
By Sara Smola
Pasadena’s Burlington Arcade is a burgeoning hipster scene, with trendy storefronts including Folia Collective, Float, and e Bloke, the latter being a lifestyle shop for the discerning gentleman, the brainchild of its stylish owner, Jeffery Plansker.
Plansker, a 30-year Pasadena resident, was inspired to curate his own shop after becoming frustrated at the limited menswear options in the area. “ There’s Ralph Lauren, there’s Brooks Brothers, but you kind of run out of choices after that,” he says. Fueled by his frustration, he started to piece together the idea for e Bloke. As luck would have it, Plansker discovered a space for rent in the Burlington Arcade, knowing that the charming Britishin infuenced plaza would be the perfect fit for his shop, which sells traditional U.K. and Ivy League brands.
With the stars aligned, Plansker decided to leap into the venture, despite his background as a commercial director—not a retailer. He let his creativity and genuine passion for menswear lead the way. “All the brands in here, every single thing in here, is something I have sought out and bought,” he says. “ There’s nothing in here that I don’t have some sort of personal relationship to or story of.”
The Bloke fills a void in Pasadena’s retail scene, with its Anglo-Ivy and mod-centric wares (think ready-to wear, bespoke suits, jackets, and shirts, bench-made shoes from the U.K., accessories, and even records and books). Both coveted and classic menswear brands grace the racks, including Alden, Drake’s, Rowing Blazers, and Fred Perry.
It’s a welcome destination for Pasadena style mavens whose only prior option was online shopping. “What we’re finding, gratefully, is that a lot of guys want to come in and shop in the store; they’ve just kind of had it with shopping online,” Plansker says. “I think there’s a lot of enthusiasm for these traditions that Pasadena is known for, older areas of shopping. People enjoy it.”
The Bloke offers a unique shopping experience that can’t be replicated online with its impeccable service, curated collection, and custom tailoring options. There are also community-centric events including pop ups and trunk shows. “A big part of the store is this idea of discovery, that you walk through and go idea by idea,” Plansker explains. “One thing you hear people talk about is how they love the charm of Pasadena … people don’t want to see it go away. They don’t want empty buildings replaced by online alternatives.”